Anemia is considered to be one of the most common blood disorders and is the result of significantly reduced level of red blood cells in the body. Because the red blood cells are created in the bone marrow, it is easy to assume that the root of the problem lies in the proper operation of the bone marrow. However, there are a number of other factors that also influence this reduced red blood cell count.
In order to maintain a healthy balance of red blood cells within the body, it is imperative that the bone marrow, kidneys as well as nutrients within the body stay in perfect tandem with each other. If even one of them is not functioning optimally, the body is poorly nourished and the blood cell count is difficult to maintain. Another aspect to keep in mind is the fact that anemia is usually a symptom of a more serious underlying medical condition. It could point out to iron and vitamin deficiencies as well as a variety of cancer or maybe even excessive exposure to a certain drug or toxin. Recent studies have shown that about 2 to 10 percent of the entire population of the United States of America suffers from the condition while most other countries have a higher affected rate. Since the symptoms of the condition are very generic like weakness and lethargy, tests for anemia are essential in order to correctly diagnose its existence.
Anemia testing is primarily done by performing a complete blood test. In most cases, the condition is detected during a routine checkup, while in others it may be because of a general complaint of weakness from the patient. Like all blood tests, anemia blood testing will require a blood sample to be obtained from the patient. This blood is usually taken from the arm, just behind the elbow. Before a syringe is inserted into the body, the site of puncture will be cleaned with an alcohol pad and a leather strap will be fastened towards the top of the arm in order to restrict blood flow and cause the vein to bulge out more prominently. Once the sample has been obtained, a piece of cotton is placed over the site of the puncture and a little pressure applied for some time to speed up the recovery process. The blood is then sent to the lab for analysis after which a report is sent back to the attending physician.